I was all set to get back up on the blog bandwagon last week. I was back from a week’s worth of training at one of the other ice cream stores in Albany; Mr. Johnson set up the apartment in my absence. We had mostly settled in. Last Monday we started training employees at our Northampton shop, and things were going great. Until Wednesday morning, really, when I walked out into the living room and found our sweet kitty Maxwell had died in the night.
Today would have been Max’s first birthday, so he wasn’t old. He seemed to be settling in as well as Mr. Johnson and I. We’d had an exterminator in who’d dusted ant poison into our walls, but that seemed largely undisturbed. Maybe he was just worn out from everything, all the changes in his life.
As if losing a beloved pet isn’t bad enough, I also don’t feel like I’d been a good kitty mommy for the week prior. I’d gone away to Albany and returned with a cold, so I spent Monday and Tuesday nights after work parked in my chair. When I got home from Albany, Max raced to greet me. I picked him up and he put his arms around my neck in what we referred to as a “kitty hug,” and purred for half an hour. Later, when I tried to put him down, he held fast and looked at me, frenzied. I laughed then, but now it just makes my heart hurt.
Mr. Johnson, who is braver in the face of woe, put a more pragmatic spin on it. “Well, at least he got to see the country.” Which he did — Motel Sixes from Chico, CA to Northampton, MA, during which time Max found other people’s porn in our room in Utah (and it was total Utah porn — the girl on the cover wore a swimsuit) and other people’s dope in Entfield, CT, where he had is own room (we splurged on it after 15 hours in the truck, so that he could expend nocturnal energy without waking us up in the process).
“Max should work for the vice squad,” I told Mr. Johnson, who did not disagree.
We took him to the vet to be cremated. Dad said he’d bury the remains at the pet cemetary we have at the cabin where I spent my childhood summers. And even though I know Max is dead, I still hear him in the apartment, mewing and jingling his collar. One week later and it still brings pinpricks to my eyes.